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Articles on Volunteers

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With its largely white and older workers, this poll site in Maine is typical of poll sites across the U.S. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Poll workers on Election Day will be younger – and probably more diverse – due to COVID-19

An army of mostly older, white volunteers run America's voting sites. They're reluctant to work during a pandemic. So new recruits are signing up to run the polls, for better and for worse.
Honduran mother and child with a Border Patrol agent. AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Why attorneys represent immigrants for free

This tradition is so strong in the US that all lawyers are encouraged to volunteer at least 50 hours of pro bono service per year.
Volunteer tourism should be subject to checks and balances, with host communities firmly in the driver’s seat. Shutterstock

Power to the hosts: how to fix volunteer tourism

Volunteer tourism is often criticised for focusing on profit and volunteer experience. But improving monitoring and evaluation and putting host communities in charge can make it more sustainable.
Volunteers assemble food to be distributed to low-income schoolchildren in Pittsburgh through a government-funded program. AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

How to get more Americans to volunteer

The share of people who give their time to good causes is starting to dip.
A Victorian AIDS Council volunteer training weekend in Kyneton Victoria, 1987. Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives.

Friday essay: recognising the unsung heroes of Australia’s AIDS crisis

The AIDS crisis arrived in Australia in 1982 and triggered an enormous (and successful) public health response, largely driven by volunteers. These people, often from marginalised communities in their own right, deserve recognition in Australia's proud volunteer tradition.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has questioned whether Meals on Wheels gets ‘results.’ Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

What the Trump team should consider before axing Meals on Wheels funds

Trump's budget director singled out Meals on Wheels as a waste of federal dollars. But identifying bad ways to spend taxpayer money is harder than it sounds.
Most U.S. environmental organizations are less diverse than this group of Californian environmental justice leaders. Brooke Anderson/CEJA

Why environmental groups need more volunteers of color

How could green groups attract more diverse volunteers? Maybe they could put more time and energy into outreach toward the people most affected by environmental injustices.
The kinds of activities volunteers can do have changed, from long-term activities to more short-term, episodic volunteering. AAP/Dan Peled

Why don’t more people volunteer? Misconceptions don’t help

Volunteers in Australia are essential to the provision of a range of services. Yet Western countries – including Australia – have recently reported a decline in volunteer rates.

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